When the San Francisco 49ers traded for the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft last Friday, they weren’t exactly looking for an immediate Jimmy Garoppolo replacement. At least that’s what Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have conveyed in days since.
Most speculated the Niners’ trade had everything to do with Garoppolo, which is sort of true, but not for the reason you might expect. While some believe he’s holding San Francisco back from winning a Super Bowl, the biggest concern is his injury history.
Garoppolo played just three games during the 2018 season and six games this last season. During his four years in the Bay Area, 2019 is the only year he played every game – and it just so happens to be the same year he led the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV.
San Francisco’s trade for the third-overall pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft may have much more to do with Garoppolo’s injury history than it does his on-field play. That’s exactly the takeaway 49ers insider Nick Wagoner had following Shanahan’s press conference on Monday.
One thing that seems lost in all this but was reaffirmed today: The #49ers decision to make this trade isn't so much about not believing in Garoppolo's ability as it is his inability to stay healthy. Performance is part of the equation but not as big as the durability issue.
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) March 29, 2021
This falls in line with what both Lynch and Shanahan have said regarding Jimmy Garoppolo in days following Friday’s trade. Both have expressed their commitment to the 29-year-old, despite the blockbuster move.
The door is still open for a trade involving Jimmy G, though. If an enticing offer comes along, Lynch will have to consider making a move.
The reality is the Niners feel their future star quarterback will be available at pick No. 3 in next month’s draft. They wouldn’t have made such a drastic move if they felt otherwise. That spells trouble for Garoppolo, who is already on a short leash.